New findings from the CHAT-DM study presented at the ESC Congress today report that text message intervention can result in better glycaemic control in patients with diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. Findings were just published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
According to the study author Dr. Xiqian Huo of the Fuwai Hospital in Beijing China, the effects observed in the study were not only statistically significant but also had the potential to be clinically relevant by reducing the risk of diabetic complications and death.
The study was conducted with 502 patients from 34 clinics in China. Patients were randomly assigned to the text messaging intervention or a control group for six months. Both groups continued to receive usual care. The intervention group received six text messages per week, at random times of the day. The topics of the text message were related to diabetes, coronary heart disease, blood pressure control, medication adherence, lifestyle recommendation, glucose monitoring, emotional management, and foot care. The control group only received two thank you text messages per month.
Findings show that the group with the text messaging intervention demonstrated a significant reduction in blood glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) at six months compared to the control group. On average, HbA1c decreased by 0.2% in the intervention group but increased by 0.1% in the control group, thus resulting in a difference of 0.3% between the two groups.
The target HbA1c is less than 7%, and this was achieved in more participants in the intervention group (69.3%), compared to the control group (52.6%). In addition, the change in fasting blood glucose level was also larger in the text messaging intervention group compared to the control group. No significant differences were observed in systolic blood pressure, LDL-C, BMI, and physical activity between the two groups.
“This study has important public health implications since patients with coronary heart disease and diabetes are at high risk for diabetes-related complications and death; achieving glycaemic control is a central pillar of high-quality care. Further investigation is needed, but this non-pharmacological intervention could serve as a powerful tool to transform worldwide delivery of health services and improve health across diverse populations," concludes Dr. Huo.
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